MIAMI Fla Dec 15 2011 – A woman who received a new kidney after posting a plea for help on Craigslist is recovering in a Miami hospital, and so is the donor.
Selina Hodge posted a plea online in July asking for someone to donate a kidney. The 28-year-old then turned to Craigslist.
She told WPTV she “didn’t know where else to turn.”
Hodge received more than 800 responses from all over the world from her Craigslist ad. One came from 23-year-old Stephanie Grant, who lived just a few miles (kilometers) away from Hodge in Palm Beach Gardens.
The two drove together to the University of Miami Medical Center Campus several times for evaluations. The women underwent transplant surgery Tuesday.
The women’s families tell the TV station that both patients are doing fine after surgery.
Harrison County IN Oct 13 2011 Rodney Bruce’s gift to his heroes is out Harrison County, Ind., roads that get more rural, more winding, hilly and tree-lined. Getaways are supposed to be away, of course.
Bruce counts on soldiers, police officers and firefighters finding it. They are the ones welcomed, encouraged to check their cares at Bruce’s gate and enjoy his 240 rustic acres. They may hunt, fish, hike, ride horses or do absolutely nothing. Their cost? They’ve always paid it by serving.
“We basically hope we never have to turn anybody away,” Bruce said. “It’s hard to know how big it will get.”
Bruce just turned his for-profit hunting preserve into the nonprofit Hero Reward. Bruce and the organization he formed seek to raise at least $600,000 annually to afford the R & R that Bruce invites.
“It shows his character,” said Robert Schickel, a local businessman and Farm Bureau leader. “He has empathy.”
Bruce, 42, otherwise crafts and sells lodge-like furniture from cedar. His wife teaches high school in Corydon. They and their young son live on the property they look forward to sharing year round.
Bruce bought it in the 1990s, land fondly familiar because it was in the family previously. Bruce’s memories of it mostly involved hunting, for him a devoted hobby and family tradition.
Bruce has hunted in Russia, Canada and throughout the United States.
Bruce made his property his business in 2002. Some 600 hunters took up Bruce on the opportunity, staying in a cabin he built and largely furnished by hand. Bruce said gears switch now not because interest has waned or because fenced havens for hunting attract determined foes.
Bruce said his priorities changed when he became a father. Plus he had treated several veterans for visits and was moved by their appreciation. “I see a huge need,” Bruce said.
Chris Byrd, a lawyer in Corydon, has joined Bruce on the Hero Reward board and embraces the mission. “It’s a great opportunity to give people a chance to forget their worries,” he said. Byrd said he hears nothing but cheers.
Schickel agrees. “This thing is class act.”
Bruce asks for applicants, their credentials to be verified. They and their families may come when it suits them. “It’s all about them when they come in,” Bruce said.
And Bruce hammers how his guests will set their agenda. They may just want to see the region’s sights, perhaps check out the local casino.
“Hunting is not the most politically correct thing,” Bruce said. “We don’t try to smear it in anyone’s face. It’s just part of what we do.”
Bruce realizes the challenge for which he has volunteered. At least overhead is at a minimum. Bruce spearheads fundraising with a broad scope. “I’m trying to make this a community deal, a local thing, ” he said.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.Aug 18 2011 (AP) — The timing was just right for saving the life of a 6-year-old girl and for turning a 24-year-old mechanic and father of two young daughters into a hero.
It was coincidence that Antonio Diaz Chacon had come home from work early to spend time with his family Monday afternoon. It was also a coincidence that the family’s washing machine had just gone out, forcing them to do laundry a block down the road at a relative’s home.
Had it not been for that, Diaz Chacon wouldn’t have been there to see the girl thrown into a van as another neighbor yelled for the would-be kidnapper to let the child go.
Diaz Chacon is credited with saving the girl after chasing the van through a maze of neighborhoods to the edge of where Albuquerque’s sprawling housing developments meet the desert. It was there where the van crashed into a pole, the suspect fled and Diaz Chacon was able to rescue the girl and take her home.
He didn’t think twice about his actions.
“The way he grabbed her and threw her into the van, I knew it wasn’t right,” he said, as a swarm of media stood outside his home Tuesday night to hear his story. The events were interpreted and relayed from Spanish to English by his wife.
“I knew I had to catch him. I had to get the girl back from him and take her home, back where she belongs,” he said.
It all happened so fast on a sidewalk in the normally quiet mobile home park, where even on the evening after the abduction kids played freely in the streets on their bikes and push scooters as food vendors sold roasted corn and other snacks.
A pair of 911 calls came in quick succession.
On one, a frantic 12-year-old says her little sister is missing. On the other is Diaz Chacon’s wife, Martha.
“We are outside of my mom’s house here,” she told the dispatcher. “We heard a man going, ‘Hey, hey let her go. Let her go.’ So we turn around …
“The man came running to us and said, ‘They stole a little girl.’”
Phillip Garcia, 29, had snatched the girl moments earlier, taking her away in a blue van, police said.
Diaz Chacon jumped in his black pickup and gave chase.
It wasn’t until the van crashed and the driver got out that any sense of fear set in for Diaz Chacon.
“When he got down I was thinking, what if he has a gun,” he said.
Garcia fled on foot, and Diaz Chacon reached the girl and told her he would take her home. Garcia then returned to his wrecked van and took off but was later captured by police, authorities said.
Hidden under a rock just 25 feet from the van was packing tape and a tie-down strap, police said.
Inside the impounded van were tostadas, a glove, a Leatherman tool, a black satchel, orange strapping similar to the strap found hidden under the rock, police said.
“This little girl was very lucky,” police Sgt. Tricia Hoffman said. “We can only guess what would have happened to this child.”
“Throughout the county we see situations like this and they do not end typically well,” she said.
Police were among those who called Diaz Chacon a hero.
One of his daughters even shared the news about her dad’s heroic actions with friends at school on Tuesday.
Diaz Chacon said he was proud to help. While he was chasing the van, he said, he thought of his own two girls — one 7 years old, the other 5 months — and how he would want someone to do the same for him.
“I told him ‘I don’t know how you could do it, just go after him, not knowing where he’s going, what he’s going to do?” his wife said. “But he saved a life.” Garcia was charged with kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence. Hoffman said Garcia is from Albuquerque and had a revoked license but she was unsure if he had a criminal record.
Garcia immediately “lawyered up,” declining to give any statement to authorities, Hoffman said. Garcia remained jailed and no lawyer had yet been listed as taking the case, according to court officials.
There have not been any other recent child abductions or attempted abductions in the city, Hoffman said.
The girl told police she had gone to a neighbor’s to pick up some tostadas and was walking home when the van stopped and the man grabbed her.
“She went to go to the neighbor’s and on her way back we don’t know what happened to her. … When she was coming back or on her way, she just like disappeared,” her sister said in the 911 call.
The girl was grabbed with such force, police said, that bruising had already begun to appear on her chest and back Monday evening. The girl told police the man put his hand over her mouth and she bit him.
She said the man shoved her on the floorboard to keep her head under the window view, according to the police report. She told police there were no backseats in the van and described other details consistent with the impounded van, police said.
She also described rolling in the van when it crashed, and breaking a fingernail. Police said they found what appeared to be a piece of fingernail in the van.
During her interview, police said the girl was concerned that she was unable to bring the tostadas home because she had left them in the van.
The Diazes said the girl’s family had thanked them on Monday, saying they would always be grateful for what the young father had done.
Martha Diaz said she was grateful what could have been a parent’s worst nightmare was not realized that day.
“Everything just worked out,” she said, referring to the perfect timing of that afternoon.
“Even now we say, ‘What if, what if we hadn’t seen him? What if he would have been two minutes earlier.’”
Prince George County MD Aug 1 2011 When Prince George’s County police detectives first found Nancy Poore Tufts, she was sitting in an upholstered chair near her walker, staring out the window. She was looking, she told the detectives, at the remnants of a garden she had promised to maintain for her mother some 40 years ago.
Today, Tufts is 101. Her mother’s garden has long been buried beneath dense weeds and fallen trees. On Saturday, the two detectives who found Tufts — and several of their colleagues — descended on her Fort Washington home to clear the land and re-plant some of her mother’s garden.
“They’re angels,” Tufts said, gazing out her window after the work was done. “They just flew in to help me.”
Detectives Tammy Irons and Jennifer Ivy initially thought Tufts’s house was abandoned.
The two investigators, assigned to the Prince George’s County District 4 station, were probing a rash of burglaries and looking for places where crooks might store their loot. Tufts’s red brick mansion along the Potomac River seemed to fit the bill.
Long strands of green ivy blanketed the brick exterior, and leafy bushes covered in thick spider webs grew so high that they obscured some of the front windows. Knee-high grass covered the side yard and burst up through cracks in the driveway. The front door hung open.
The detectives went inside, calling out while they looked around. Dusty books, hand bells and Victorian figurines lined wooden tables and cabinets. Somewhere, the investigators thought they heard ‘40s music.
Then came Tufts’s call.
“Yoo-hoo!” the centenarian chirped from her seat beneath the window.
For about an hour, the detectives stood and talked to Tufts, learning about her history and the history of the mansion that has been designated a “Backyard Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation and a historic site by the county. They kept coming back over the next few weeks.
“It took me back in time,” Ivy said. “It was amazing.”
Born in London to American parents, Tufts’s family moved to Maryland in 1939, cutting a space for a house in Fort Washington out of land that was mostly woods. Tufts eventually earned several degrees, including a bachelor’s and master’s from Syracuse University, and worked as a music teacher. She said she is sometimes known as the “panda lady” because she lets National Zoo officials harvest bamboo from her property to feed the pandas.
“I could write a book with all the stuff I’ve done over the past 100 years,” Tufts said.
Tufts has no children, and her husband, also a music teacher, died decades ago. She lives mostly independently in her home, which has no air conditioning, and she uses a walker to get around. She has a black cat named Spooky Spaghetti and a long-haired dachshund named Sir Maximilian. She said she wanted a guard dog but ended up rescuing the deaf dachshund after it was abandoned by its previous owner.
The detectives said they were moved to help Tufts not because they felt she needed them, but because in frequent visits to her house, they grew to respect and admire her.
“We weren’t doing it for pity for her,” said Sgt. Matt Barba, who is among those who have grown close with Tufts. “We were more doing it for praise.”
Tufts is quick-witted, even sarcastic at times. When Irons asked if Tufts wanted her to put an ice pack in the freezer, Tufts stuck her tongue out and playfully responded “Well, what, do you want it in the oven?” As she posed for a picture with Barba, she joked, “Oh boy, wait until your wife sees this!”
She is also well-read and in touch with current events. She inquired Saturday whether a reporter interviewing her worked for Rupert Murdoch, who she thinks is “really getting bad press.” She had scribbled “Gossip!” on two copies of Newsweek which advertised an interview with Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s accuser.
Tufts waited inside while detectives trimmed the bushes that blocked her windows and plowed a path through the dense brush that had overrun her garden. She seemed to be asleep while Ivy and Irons filled planters with red and purple perennials and impatiens, setting them along a white banister — which Tufts said came from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second inauguration — that once formed the garden’s wall.
The detectives were nervous about how Tufts would react to the landscaping. Before work started, she gave them a hand-written list of the animals on her property — and a warning not to disturb any of them. She objected when she thought some bushes were trimmed too heavily. When most of the work was done, Irons stood beneath the window assessing the planters lining the garden.
“I’m thinking this is beautiful,” Irons said, standing up against the window where Tufts looks out. “I’m hoping she’s in awe when she looks.”
Afterward, as Tufts gazed out the window at the now cleared garden lined with planters, she seemed to give her approval: “Oh, it’s just marvelous,” she said.
The detectives filled her bird feeder and left, promising to return to keep the plants watered.
KITTITAS COUNTY WA July 26 2011 — They look like cops, but they’re not. What’s the difference?
“We have no authority,” says volunteer citizen’s patrolman, Ken Titus. “Just eyes and ears for the sheriffs.”
Titus and Bob Allen are spending their retirement keeping a watchful eye on Kittitas County.
“If someone is thinking of doing something, we might detour them,” says Titus.
If it doesn’t detour them, Titus and Allen will call dispatchers to bring a deputy to the scene.
In a time of budget cuts and tight wallets, this citizen’s patrol is a way to increase county safety without adding any costs to you–the taxpayer.
Even money for the vehicle, gas and uniforms is mostly donated.
Still, people told me that you can’t assign a dollar amount to peace of mind.
“They’re making sure we’re all staying safe, and I think it’s a great idea.”
Nick Snyder goes to CWU and says he sees how busy police and deputies often are. And, with a little less than a year under their belt, the sheriff’s office hopes to add more patrols, and subtract worries and fear from the people in Kittitas County.
“To me, it’s a pleasant drive in the county, and if we can do some good, that’s even better,” says Allen.
The minimum amount of volunteer time is 8 hours a month. If you want to be a part of the volunteer patrols, just call the sheriff’s office for more information. No experience is required.
PEABODY, Mass. June 22 2011— Say you find some vulgar graffiti tagged on your house. You grab your smartphone, take a photo and, with the push of a button, alert police — sending them the photo and letting them know precisely where it is by using the phone’s GPS.
Welcome to community policing in the 21st century.
Features include anonymous tips, one-touch dialing to a police department, and citizen surveys. (from wiredblue.co)
All that will soon be available in Peabody and other communities across the country thanks to a new smartphone application called “My Police Department,” developed by Detective Peter Olson of the Peabody Police Department.
The new application makes it easy for citizens to communicate with local police by sending tips, reporting crimes, asking questions, filling out surveys, and giving citizens one-stop access to the department’s Twitter and Facebook feeds, special alerts, staff directory and more.
“The easier we can make it for the public to interact with police, the better it will be for us,” Olson said.
“Mobile Internet use and app use are going through the roof — everyone is using their phone, almost more than their computers. Just like 10 years ago when every police department was looking at getting a website, the mobile Web is the next step.”
Olson, 33, a tech junkie and hobbyist entrepreneur, saw the writing on the wall and has spent his spare time over the last year crafting the application.
Peabody police have been quick to incorporate the newest technology — such as using mobile tablets in police cruisers, using popular online programs like foursquare, QR codes, Twitter, Nixle and more — to see what works and how it can improve policing.
“The new town square is the Internet, it’s not Peabody Square anymore,” said Peabody police Chief Robert Champagne. “We’re very proactive about finding the best ways to use technology. I think we’re right up there with the best (police departments) in Massachusetts and in the country.”
Initially, the department explored using money from its budget to hire developers to build a Peabody Police smart phone app that could run on both the iPhone and Android platforms. Surprisingly, no comprehensive police app existed, and developing one from scratch would have cost up to $40,000 — too much for the department, especially in this economy.
So Olson got an idea: Why not develop and pay for the program himself, donate it to Peabody, and then market and sell it to other police departments?
“I thought, if we wanted to do this, won’t other departments want the app? Why wouldn’t they?” he said.
So Olson hit the books, formed his own company, Wired Blue LLC, and hired five freelance developers to help him build the police app. It’s finally finished and should be available for free download on the iTunes and Android marketplaces in the next month or so.
Although the application will be free to all citizens, participating police departments will pay a nominal yearly fee based on population, Olson said. The typical price is $600 to $700 per year for a medium-sized city of 25,000 to 75,000 residents.
Olson’s app has already garnered a lot of attention, with 25 or so communities either already signed up or interested. That includes several Massachusetts communities, as well as cities and towns in Maine, Texas, California, Georgia and Wisconsin.
“Bridging the gap between our police force and our citizens is a big challenge, and we look at this (app) as an opportunity to do that,” said Chelsea police Chief Brian Kyes, who, after seeing a demonstration last month, sent an email about it to police chiefs across the state.
Many police forces, including Chelsea and Peabody, already use programs like Text a Tip, which allow citizens to give police anonymous crime tips through their phones. But those programs cost thousands of dollars per year and are limited in what they can do, Kyes said.
“In terms of cost, this is the most cost effective thing out there right now,” he said of Olson’s new app.
Olson, the detective turned businessman, isn’t accustomed to giving sales pitches, presentations and marketing products, but he’s learning on the fly. The 11-year veteran of the Peabody force said he’s really not sure what’s going to happen when the app goes live next month.
“I’m not sure if I’m going to have 20 departments or 200″ that want to sign up, he said.
For Peabody, Champagne said the new app will be a valuable new tool.
“This job is all about information and how much we can get,” he said. “The more eyes and ears we have that can provide information, the better it is for the community and the easier it is to keep them safe.”
Gene’s job as a tractor-trailer driver for UPS amounts to 11 to 13 hour days, which leads to those late-night dinners at home.
“Don’t you think it’s time to retire,” Carolyn said to her beloved husband.
The question, which came more as a statement, surprised Gene.
“We had never even discussed it,” Gene said. “The next morning I said, ‘I’ll tell you what. I’ll fill out the paperwork.’ I held onto it for about 30 days. Finally, I filled it out.”
And so in March, Gene Carrier will officially end his 42-year career with UPS.
On top of that, he recently marked 40 years of safe driving with neither an accident nor a ticket on his remarkable record, despite having driven about 4.1 million miles for UPS.
Carrier’s final driving day on the job comes Dec. 30, one day before his and Carolyn’s wedding anniversary and one month and a day before he turns 65.
“He’s the nicest man you’ve ever seen,” said Charlie Brown, a security guard at UPS. “Man, I’ll tell you, he’s the number-one man at UPS.”
With seven days of work left and on the first half of his daily route from the UPS hub in Bristol, Va., to the hub in Knoxville, Tenn., and back, Carrier spoke of retirement and the job he dearly loves.
“I’ll really miss the people,” Carrier said. “But my wife and I want to go places we’ve only read about while we can.”
APRIL 3, 1967
Carrier’s first day on the job with United Parcel Service was April 3, 1967.
He had attended East Tennessee State University for three years prior. First as a chemistry and mathematics major and then business administration, Carrier had plans other than what became of his working life.
“Then I got the job with UPS,” he said.
His starting pay was $2.25 per hour, about $90 per week.
“I thought, golly, I’m rich now,” Carrier said while rumbling past a Kingsport exit along I-81. “That was a lot of money in 1967.”
Indeed, it was enough to end Carrier’s college career. Since 1983, he’s earned top UPS dollar while wheeling tractor-trailers up and down I-81, but that’s a far cry from his earliest days.
“I started out washing the trucks down on Mary Street,” Carrier said as he waved to another UPS driver who eased his big brown rig by. “The building wasn’t the warmest thing in the world. Had a pot-bellied stove in the middle.”
Carrier didn’t wash trucks for long. By the end of 1967, he was delivering packages.
“I started with a Chevrolet Econoline van, which was sort of like a panel van,” he said. “Then I drove a Hohn, which looked sort of like the trucks that Brinks uses. Cold, you’d freeze to death in that thing.”
You want stories? Talk to a UPS package delivery driver. Take the time that a big boxer dog chased Carrier into the truck, opened wide and took a chomp from his calf.
“I dropped a package on him, he yelped, and took off,” Carrier said.
Oh, they get better.
“I’ve seen women come to the door naked,” Carrier said.
What do you do?
“Stutter a lot,” Carrier said, laughing loud and smiling wide.
That’s Gene Carrier for you. The native of Bristol, Tenn., owns a smile that he’s all too pleased to pass around to anyone who happens to cross his path.
“Gene is the best,” said Bobby Killebrew, his boss at UPS. “He never stops smiling.”
Carrier moved up to driving big rigs for UPS in 1983. Most days, he transports two trailers of packages from Bristol to Knoxville, then back to Bristol and on to Roanoke, Va., then back to Bristol to complete his day.
UPS estimates that Carrier has driven more than 4.1 million miles during his 42 years with the company. Now get this. He has no wrecks and no tickets on his resume.
That earned Carrier special recognition, marked by a patch with the number 40 on his left shoulder. The number signifies that he belongs among UPS’ extremely rare fraternity of drivers who own unblemished driving records for at least 40 years.
“We have about 102,000 drivers at UPS,” said Brian Blackwell, a UPS communications official based in Nashville, Tenn. “Gene ranks in the top 25. He’s a remarkable man.”
No wrecks, but plenty of close calls.
“The other day I was coming out of Roanoke,” Carrier said. “This girl was straddling the middle lane. I kept going over to the shoulder.”
Bear in mind that the girl drove a small car – tiny beside Carrier’s hulking International UPS rig.
“You couldn’t even put a fist between me and her,” he said. “I looked down into her car, and she was texting. I put my hand on the horn, and she realized it. Well, she shot back over into her lane.”
Carrier’s driving record persevered.
Carrier motored onward as quiet overtook the cab of his truck. His hands gently, though firmly maneuvered the truck’s large steering wheel. His eyes moved constantly, from momentary checks of side mirrors to gauge readings and of course to the road that stretched before him.
Then as Carrier eased his big brown truck onto exit 7 and toward UPS’ Bonham Road location, he reflected on what it means for him to retire.
“It’ll be sad. I’ve spent two-thirds of my life here,” Carrier said, making eye contact while tears welled in his eyes. “I started when I was 22, and I’m 64 now.”
Carrier paused as he downshifted and eased into the UPS lot.
Security guard Charlie Brown waved as Carrier drove by.
“I’ll miss him when he retires,” Brown said minutes later. “I love him to death. He’s like a father to me.”
As Carrier stopped his truck, he cleared his throat, thought for a moment and summed up his retirement.
“I’ve made a lot of friends. That’s what I’ll miss,” Carrier said. “I’ve got a lot of good memories.”
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By: Rick McCann
Private Officer News Network
May is the month that mental health providers use for Mental Health Awareness and to broaden their reach within the community.
Grayce Crockett, a mental health specialist in Charlotte said that workers hold seminars, speak to area employees, and make their services known around the area.
This year according to Crockett, suicides and suicide attempts are way up.
Crockett attributes some of that to the down turn in the economy and higher unemployment. Many people are having a hard time coping with the loss of their jobs, losing their homes and not being able to pay their bills Crockett said.
Emergency workers in Nashville TN. have also seen an increase in reported suicide attempts and threats though there was no numbers available.
Dr. Harry Crowe, a mental health provider in the Atlanta metro area said that there is also an increase in substance abuse which is leading to some of the increased suicide attempts.
Teens and middle aged people are once again drinking alcohol to the extreme and the use of illegal narcotics including prescription drugs have increased substantially in the past few years Crowe said.
For every successful suicide, twenty five others have attempted it and more than double that number has thought about it according to Dr. Crowe.
Some signs of a suicidal person are:
Talk of suicide or harming themselves
Emergency mental health providers in your area can be found in your local telephone directory or by calling 911 in an emergency.
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Mall security officers aid heart attack victim http://www.privateofficer.com
Dixie and Paul Mix have walked three laps around the second floor of the Highland Mall almost every day for three years.
The couple usually goes to Highland Mall most morning at 10 a.m., as the mall is opening, 68-year-old Dixie Mix said. On Nov. 3, she and her husband were walking inside the mall when she went ahead to do a lap by herself. Paul Mix stayed behind to take his medicine.
A store employee saw Paul fall, Dixie Mix said. “By the time I got back to him, his heart and lungs were still working, but he just said, ‘I need down,’ and collapsed,” she said.
Dixie Mix was so busy holding on to her husband that she didn’t have time to call 9-1-1, she said.
Mall security Captain Criselda Ozuna and security officer Jamael Jackson rushed to the couple’s side. Ozuna performed CPR and Jackson helped with the defibrillator, Dixie Mix said. By the time paramedics arrived, officials said, mall employees had done much of the work of reviving Mix.
Ozuna, Jackson and two other mall employees — Fidel Salazar and Carlos Ignacio — who assisted with Mix’s rescue were recognized at a ceremony on this morning.
“How do you thank somebody for returning what could have been lost when it is everything?” Dixie Mix said. She referred to Ozuna and Jackson as “two angels.” Highland Mall operations manager Rob Ledbetter gave out Certificates of Lifesaving to the employees and tin cans in the shape of Lifesavers candy.
Dr. Joanne Tsai, a cardiac electro-physiologist with the Heart Hospital of Austin, treated Paul Mix after his heart attack and implanted an internal defibrillator. She said that Mix was lucky that he was in a public place when the incident occurred, because timing is “the most crucial thing” during cardiac arrest.
Tsai said that 95 percent of people who do not receive help within four minutes of a cardiac arrest die.
Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services Director Ernesto Rodriguez said the event also shows how important it is for businesses to invest in automated external defibrillators.
“You have to ask yourself, ‘What is my next heartbeat worth?’,” Rodriguez said. “This is a perfect example of a business who decided that well in advance.”
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Volunteer security patrol receive “Citizen of the Month” Awards http://www.privateofficer.com
The 230 volunteer members of the Sun City Summerlin Security Patrol keep a vigilant eye on their community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year — and their efforts have not gone unnoticed.
At the Sept. 3 meeting of the Las Vegas City Council, Mayor Oscar Goodman and Councilman Larry Brown presented the security patrol with the Citizens of the Month award. More than 40 members of the team were on hand to receive it.
The patrol began 18 years ago with a staff of only 20 members.
“Their mission is very simple,” Brown said. “They are the eyes and ears of their community. They are very active, very involved and very aware of what’s going on.”
Jerry Solomon, chief of the Sun City Summerlin Security Patrol, said he and his staff are very proud of the award. Solomon has served as chief since 1997.
“We have quite a few ex-military and former police officers on our staff, but we also have some people who never worked law enforcement,” Solomon said. “It’s a variety of people who just care for the neighborhood.”
The Sun City Summerlin Security Patrol’s main office is at 10362 Sun City Boulevard, in the back of the Desert Vista Community Center’s parking lot.
Each shift typically involves one dispatcher and four patrol vehicles making their rounds.
Not only does the security patrol look out for suspicious activity within the community, Brown said, but members also keep an eye on empty homes while residents are on vacation.
“It’s neighbors caring for neighbors,” Brown said. “They are setting a new standard for a neighborhood watch.”
Ministry feeds the hungry with bread http://www.privateofficer.com
Vicki and Ronnie Johnson run the project out of their garage, filling it with hundreds of bread loaves, pizza crusts, bags of bagels and rolls
The ones (beneficiaries of the ministry) that are really grateful will just humble you to your knees,” Vicki said.
“It means so much to me just seeing the people coming in and being able to offer them part of their family’s food for the next week.”
When Johnson saw that the ministry had become too much for her friend, she not only wanted to take it over but expand the project.
After posting messages on local Web sites like http://www.freecycle.com, more than 200 people began showing up every other week to grab a share of bread.
On average, Johnson said each person walks away with $15-$20 of bread.
“You don’t think about it being an expensive item until you have a large family,” Vicki said. “There are also a lot of people living on disability and a lot of people losing their jobs.”
She added that most people try and drop a dollar into the bucket or sometimes come a day early to help sort.
“With the word free, everyone thinks there’s a catch,” Johnson said. “But there’s not, we just ask people to only take what they need and offer in return what they can. We manage it with help from God above … He puts gas in the tank”
The ministry includes two women who take out food to people in communities who have no way to get to Chelsea. Those women currently deliver to 30 people in the Montevallo area and 40 in Pell City. The ministry currently needs someone to deliver to the Alabaster and Leeds areas.
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